Electronics Production | April 14, 2011

Linear and AnalogicTech settle patent enforcement action

Linear Technology has resolved its continued patent litigation with Advanced Analogic Technologies (AATI).
On March 18, 2010, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) issued an Enforcement Initial Determination finding that AATI, by its importation of voltage regulator products that infringed Linear’s U.S. Patent No. 6,580,258 (‘258 patent), had violated a previous exclusion order issued against AATI by the ITC in an enforcement action brought by Linear.

The ITC and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had previously found that AATI violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act by importing voltage regulator chips that infringe the ‘258 patent. After the ITC declined to review the ALJ’s Enforcement Initial Determination, AATI appealed certain aspects of the Commission’s Determination to the Federal Circuit.

As part of the settlement, AATI has now dismissed the Federal Circuit appeal and agreed that it would not make, use, sell, offer for sale or import any semiconductor wafer or products of whatever nature into the United States that practice any claims of the sleep mode patents until the expiration of those patents. A federal case in the Northern District of California which had been stayed while the parties battled in the ITC was also voluntarily dismissed by the parties as part of the settlement.

The ‘258 Patent protects Linear’s “sleep mode” invention, comprising circuitry that significantly extends battery life in a range of portable electronic devices by allowing the voltage regulator to “sleep” when little current is needed.


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